Why You Should Take NCDD's Board Certification Exam

Posted on December 21, 2018 in Board Certification


For many years, I was of the opinion that I didn't need to take the Board Certification test. Oklahoma didn't recognize certification. I have never been asked by a potential client about it. I was competing for and signing up cases without it. I took the bar exam and wasn't taken any more exams. I had lots of reasons why I didn't need it.

Truth was that I wasn't up for the challenge. Was I really good enough to pass the test? Even though I had written many books on DUI Defense and had taught numerous courses on how to defend a DUI, did I really know the material that I used every day?

What changed? In 2014, I was approached and asked why I had never sat for the exam. I had been asked this before several times. I gave the usual answers. However, I got a different response. My friend who I respect immensely said "who cares if you can use it .it is a personal challenge". With that, I decided to sit for the next exam in January 2015. Little did I know until after paying the exam fee and submitting the application that I would also be asked to lecture at the same seminar that I was taking sitting for the exam. Why not add more stress to the mix?

Personal pride is an amazing motivator. With several associates, my children, family and friends knowing that I was sitting for the exam, I could not fail. I immersed myself in studying. I finally read Larry Taylor and Steve Oberman's book front to back. I took the time to understand the science instead of just knowing the science. I read Garriot's to clarify areas that I didn't understand. I read the field sobriety studies in depth. I learned about urine testing even though it isn't used in my state for testing alcohol. I remembered how I used to research and write briefs from scratch like I used to before I could afford interns. I learned to be a better lawyer than what I was. I made new friends as we sat up the day before the exam drilling each other with questions and then waited together as we were waiting to present our oral arguments.

I was fortunate to pass the exam. I am proud of my board certification because it was a personal accomplishment and it made me a better attorney. It was my personal accomplishment. I encourage everyone to take the exam. Don't take it for the advertising or the prestige, take it for yourself. It will make you a better lawyer.

John Hunsucker defends those accused of impaired driving in Oklahoma City and currently serves on the Board of Regents for the National College. For more information about NCDD's Board Certification Exam, click here.

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